Robbing my kids of joy…one holiday at a time.

This isn’t really what I pictured when I mentioned that I may start doing some “hot topic” posts. But apparently Halloween is a bit of an issue for me.  I have written past posts about why my family doesn’t celebrate Halloween, but if you don’t want to click through to those links, I’ll summarize briefly for you:

1) Aaron (my husband) grew up with essentially NO holidays.  Since our little family DOES celebrate most holidays in some way, this one (which I’ve never been too excited about) seems like a small compromise.

2)  Halloween makes me think of creepy stuff and people acting naughty.  What about that is something we should celebrate?

3)  People have told me, “It’s just for fun, don’t worry about it!” but I really think our society could use MORE thinking, and LESS fun.  Not that I’m anti-fun.  Just a fan of thinking about it first!

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In past years, I have let the kids dress up to hand out candy.  This has always bugged Aaron, since it seems too close to celebrating, and too picky about the “rules”.  This year, I’m contemplating just avoiding it all together – let’s leave the house, and just go do something else, maybe?

If there was a good harvest/fall party, I would let the kids pick out costumes and go.  In fact, I’m getting dangerously close to hosting one myself.  I think I would shoot for sometime closer to Thanksgiving.  And even if other kids dressed up for Halloween, they could get some extra use out of the costume…hmmm…I’m thinking of ideas already.  I’m such a dork.

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Just to be clear, we are not banning fun in general.  My kids can have candy generally whenever they ask for it. (Still enjoying candy from a parade this summer!) And I’ll let them each pick a bag of “the good stuff” to choose from for the fall.  Also, I give the kids a few Thanksgiving presents.  This is what I remind them of when they are whining about not getting to go trick or treating.  Who ELSE gets Thanksgiving presents?!

To be consistent (and also because I don’t see the point of them), we also don’t tell our kids about the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus.  No, they will NOT be ruining your kids’ fun, at least not on purpose.  They’ve been told that some kids believe in them, and they are NOT to go blurting out that they are a fairy tale. (Easter is usually on or close to Ben’s birthday and only a month before Leah’s, so the extra gifts/candy aren’t really necessary.)

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Speaking of fairies.  Leah has a minor obsession with the pixies, and has for awhile, even though I’ve been clear with her from the beginning that they aren’t real.  So when the Tooth Fairy was due to make an appearance….she was rather crestfallen.  We had a sweet little conversation about it, though, and decided to play the game anyway.  I didn’t set out to ruin THAT fun, but Ben was kinda freaking out at the thought of something creeping into his room in the middle of the night.  I HAVE A KID LIKE THAT, folks.  Maybe it’s a good thing we don’t have a guy sliding down our chimney or a rabbit hiding stuff in our house.  At least the leprechauns leave chocolate coins when they make a mess.  WHAT?  I have some friends who do Valentines Day in a big way…I lean towards mischief.  It’s a good way to make it through the winter.

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You think I’m a freak?  Ok. You are probably correct.
You think I’m a joy kill?  You are entitled to think that way, although my kids joyful personalities beg to differ.
Maybe you think I’m reading too much into a simple holiday? I’m really okay with my kids seeing me make thoughtful decisions, and not just go along with the status quo. (Although don’t get me wrong – I don’t think poorly of those who choose to dress up and beg for candy.:)
Or perhaps you are thinking more along the lines of religious extremists or zealots? I can only hope so, but not in the scary violent way the terms are used these days.

What I would love is some non-Halloween activities to do with the kids, or ways to avoid looking like the Grinch dressed in orange & black.    Any thoughts on that?

This entry was posted in Family, Holidays, Parents and tagged , , , , , , by Lyz. Bookmark the permalink.
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About Lyz

Wife of Aaron and mom of Leah (9) and Ben (7), and Adam (4). Licensed English teacher homeschooling for the third year. Christ is my savior. A fan of pop culture, especially movies and music (although my taste in novels leans more toward the classics.) If you are laughing, I can't stop talking. And if you give me a microphone, I'll probably say something borderline inappropriate.

7 thoughts on “Robbing my kids of joy…one holiday at a time.

  1. I am entirely in agreement with you although you sound half-apologetic in your reasoning. You shouldn’t be. This (Halloween) celebration of the “dark side” is nonsense at best and devilish at worst. I kindly (with respect) suggest next time you make a stand for what you believe, hold your head up high, look em in the eye and don’t back down an inch. Good writing like good preaching is always better when you don’t care a whit about what others think. As long as you know your right.

    • Oh, don’t worry…I’m apologetic only to my kids (for the fun they are missing out on) and to my friends (who feel that I’m judging them). My apologies are only to soften the blow a bit.:)

      I kinda thought that I WAS making a stand, holding my head high, and not backing down.

  2. Thanks for sharing your families thoughts, ideals and values. I agree with many of your points, and too often am worried about what other people think, and what my children will miss out on because of my opting out of things, particularly Halloween. It is nice to know that we are not the only people who have these opinions. Thanks again.

    • Anne (and anyone else, really!), feel free to join me over at my regular blog http://www.moderndayjane.areavoices.com.

      It’s such a delicate walk between doing right by our kids and doing right by our convictions. I’ve got to think that if we veer more on the side of our convictions, our kids will also benefit. Maybe not by getting a pillowcase full of chocolate, but maybe somewhere further down the road they’ll choose to do the right, if unpopular, thing.:)

  3. Lyz,
    I inadvertently posted my full name on my last comment. Can you take that off for me? I would rather by anonymous, or use initials. If you can’t do that, can you please delete my comment?
    Thanks,
    Anne

  4. As a child I looked forward to Halloween every year for several reasons. First, the thinking and planning of who or what I would dress up to be that night. We didn’t have store bought costumes, we had to make our own…a lesson in planning and creativity. Second, the anticipation of all the candy I would get and trade with my friends and siblings. Third, the joy and laughter of running with friends through dark in goofy costumes and plastic masks from Woolworths. Not once did I even think about any “dark side” of this holiday. Not once. Never entered my mind. I carry those fun and happy memories today. I don’t judge you for your choices, I just thought I would give you another perspective on this holiday.

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